Literary Links

May/June 2007


Good News and Announcements


Announcements--Many of our family of authors will be attending the Romance Writers of America National Conference in July 2007.  This year's conference is being held at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, Texas.  Among those attending will be Allie Pleiter, Ann Macela, Beverly Long, Blythe Gifford, and Pat White.


Coming Soon!--Coming in July from Allie Pleiter is The Perfect Blend, a Steeple Hill Love Inspired release.  And from Victoria Bylin, Midnight Marriage is being released in the UK in July 2007. Itís available at for pre-order.


Good News--Congratulations to Allie Pleiter, who is a finalist in the RWA RITA contest with her Inspirational romance, My So-Called Love Life.  Winners will be announced in July 2007 at the Romance Writers of America National Conference.  Good luck, Allie!  Beverly Long is a finalist in the Virginia Romance Writers HOLT Medallion contest with her paranormal Here With Me.  This book is also a finalist in the Orange County Book Buyer's Best contest, in the paranormal category.  Good luck on all fronts, Beverly!


New On Literary Liaisons

There are many new additions to Literary Liaisons. After reading about them below, check them out on the web site.






A Celebration of Empire by Peter Walton

The Making of Victorian Values: Decency and Dissent in Britain: 1789-1837 by Ben Wilson

Mistress of the Elgin Marbles by Susan Nagel

Victorian Women's Magazines by Margaret Beetham

Write Away by Elizabeth George


Feature Title:


Time Management from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern


The Video Library


The Illusionist


Researching the Romance


A Celebration of Empire by Peter Walton

The Making of Victorian Values: Decency and Dissent in Britain: 1789-1837 by Ben Wilson

Mistress of the Elgin Marbles by Susan Nagel

Victorian Women's Magazines by Margaret Beetham

Write Away by Elizabeth George



Writers' Resources Online


The British Museum

MeaningS of Life
The Mother Goose Society

Queen Victoria

The Resource Shelf



Feature Article 

Don't Interrupt Me Unless You're Bleeding, or How to Balance Writing and Family

by Michelle Prima


One of the greatest benefits of being a writer, is the flexibility it gives you with your familyís schedule. You can work around school events, play dates, family parties, etc.  You can put in a six-hour day while the kids are at school, but still be there when they get home.  Or you can take a Friday off for a long weekend away with the spouse.

But the benefit is also the down side. Working from home can give family members the impression that you are available at a momentís notice to take care of their needs. That you can drop anything and drive them around on their schedule. 

This is where the problems begin.  The more you say yes at the beginning, the more they will ask.  The more you give over time, the more they will take, until you are doing more for others than you are yourself.  Consequently, the writing suffers because you donít have enough time to devote to it.

Here are some techniques to help you to work from home, and create a good balance of work and family.

Value Your TimeóYour time is a precious commodity.  Therefore, you should place a value on it.  What would you charge per word if freelancing, and how many words can you write in an hour?  Keep this figure in mind when someone asks you for a favor, or when there is work to be done around the house. Is it worth your hourly rate to do this chore or errand yourself?  Or would you be better off hiring someone?

PrioritizeóPlan ahead and see what absolutely has to get done that day, week, month.  Prioritize your tasks accordingly.  For example, you have a workshop presentation coming up on the 15th of the month.  Start preparing weeks aheadócreate an outline, write the workshop, practice, prepare handouts, etc.  If you wait until the 14th to start preparing for a large project, it wonít be done to the best of your ability.  Also, create a Command Center for the family.  Have a calendar out in the open for all to see and use.  For yourself, use a planner with both family and business so you donít double-book. Look at your planner and calendar on a regular basis, so you can prioritize your tasks for each day.

DelegateóGet the cooperation of everyone in your family.  Assign age-appropriate choresóeven the youngest can help out.  Hire out what canít be done by family members.  For example, is it worth it to have a weekly lawn maintenance service, or would you rather spend several hours a week mowing the lawn?  Can you hire someone to pick up after your dog in the yard, or should you continue to do it? 

Eliminate InterruptionsóWhen you are home and have set aside time to work, donít answer the phone (except in an emergency).  Donít reply to e-mails as they pop up.  Save and reply to them all at once.  Place a ďDo Not DisturbĒ sign on your door, and make sure your spouse and children respect your wishes.  Have them understand that they canít interrupt you unless they are bleeding.

Make the Most of Your TimeóMake lists so you donít forget anything.  In meetings, have an agenda and follow it.  Go to only one store instead of shopping three different ones for sales.  The time and money you save in gas will be worth the extra you spend in groceries.  Also, if you are having a repairman over to fix the plumbing, schedule the furniture delivery or furnace check the same day.  Donít take two days away from your work.

Work WiselyóDonít over-schedule yourself.  Donít be a perfectionist all the time.  Learn to delegate.  Donít procrastinate.  And concentrate on the task at hand.  Multi-task only if it doesnít compromise the outcome. For example, phone calls from the car can be distracting if you are trying to write down phone numbers or check your calendar.  But phone calls while cooking or watching soccer practice can be beneficial.

            Play WiselyóSchedule in fun time with the family and date time with the spouse.  Make it clear to family members that if everyone helps, everyone wins.


            Michelle Prima is the owner of Prima By Design, Inc., an Organizing and Relocation business.  As the owner of Literary Liaisons, Ltd. also, she has learned how to juggle her time to fit everything into her busy schedule.  She also presents workshops on this topic.  Contact her for more information.


Books on Time Management and Organizing are available for purchase in our on-line bookstore in the non-fiction section.

Also see the "Writing Craft"  section of our Researching the Romance page for more suggestions.


Editor's Note

Running a company isn't an easy task.  Raising a family isn't an easy task.  Running a household isn't an easy task.  Trying to write in your spare time isn't always an easy task.  Put these all together, and you can have utter chaos.  That's why this month's article is on balancing family and work.  Too many times, we find ourselves procrastinating on matters that need to get done because there are easier tasks or more fun tasks to do. Or we find ourselves spending less and less time with the family because of other demands from outside sources.  In order to be productive and mentally healthy, you must find the perfect balance for yourself.  For some, family may require more time, especially if the children are small, or are involved in school activities.  After the kids reach high school and start to drive, the demands lessen some (although the worries don't!).  There is no one answer for everyone, and there isn't even one answer for you.  Even after evaluating your personal situation, you still need to go back and study your schedule from time to time.  You need to adapt to changing lifestyles.  But once you have a system in place, it's much easier to adapt than to try to catch up after years of neglect.  Start now by creating a time management program that works for you and your family.  You'' all be happier in the end.

--Michelle Prima

President, Literary Liaisons, Ltd.

Q&A Column

Q:  "I'm starting my first novel set in England, and I want my characters to sound authentic when speaking.  Do you have any advice on writing dialogue?"

Barb B.

A:   Barb--

First of all, congratulations on starting your first novel  It's quite an undertaking!  Regarding dialect, yes, you want your characters to sound authentic.  However, overdoing the dialect can create confusion.  Your readers may begin to stumble over the words because they don't understand the phonetic spelling of the dialect.  Rather than using strict dialect and phonetic spelling, select some key words that are geographically linked to your character.  These may be vocabulary, pronunciation or grammar usage.  Nonstandard dialects may misuse singular/plural pronouns, for example.  Wherever your character is form, study the dialects from that area and choose a few words or grammar usages that will define the character.  Here are some excellent references for your research:
The Dialects of England by Peter Trudgill

Understanding British English by Margaret E, Moore

The King's English by H.W. & F.G. Fowler

Discovering English Dialects by Martyn Wakelin

Good luck with your book!

Michelle Prima

President, Literary Liaisons, Ltd.


Historical Calendar of Events



Anthony Eden (Lord Avon)--British statesman

Aneuron Bevan, British Labour politician



Alphonse Daudet--French novelist

Jakob Burckhardt--Swiss art historian

Johann Brahms--composer



Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee.

William McKinley inaugurated as President of the United States

Congress broadened U.S. copyright laws to give copyright owners exclusive rights to public performances of their works.

Honduras in Central America had a revolution with help from U.S. soldier of fortune Lee Christmas, who began working as a locomotive engineer in the country.
The King of Korea proclaimed himself Emperor.

Germany occupied Kiao-Chow, North China

Russia occupied Port Arthur.
The Sultan of Zanzibar abolished slavery.

Crete proclaimed union with Greece.

Madagascar's Queen Ranavalona was deposed by the French February 28.
A Franco-German agreement July 23 defined the boundary between Dahomey and Togoland.
The United States annexed the Hawaiian Islands under terms of a June 16 treaty that was ratified by the Hawaiian Senate September 9.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that U.S. railroads were subject to the Sherman Anti-Trust Law.
Russian finance minister Sergei Yulievich Witte introduced the gold standard.
Japan adopted the gold standard March 29.
The Dingley Tariff Act passed by Congress July 24 raised U.S. living costs by increasing duties to an average of 57 percent. It hiked rates on sugar, salt, tin cans, glassware, and tobacco, as well as on iron and steel, steel rails, petroleum, lead, copper, locomotives, matches, whisky, and leather goods

U.S. bituminous-coal miners left the pits July 5, beginning a 12-week walkout. They won an 8-hour day, semimonthly pay, abolition of company stores that charge premium prices, and biennial conferences with mine operators.
President Cleveland set aside 20 million acres of additional western forest reserves. Congress passed the Forest Service Organic Act, enabling legislation for the establishment of a national forest system.
The first Zionist congress opened August 31 at Basel as Theodor Herzl aroused support for his dream of a Jewish homeland in Palestine that would provide a refuge for oppressed Jews worldwide.

The Arts


"Dinner Table" by Matisse

"The Sleeping Gypsy" by Henri Rousseau

"Christ in Olympus" by Max Klinger

"Boulevard des Italiens" by Camille Pissarro

"Large Interior" by Jean Edouard Vuillard

"Frieze of Life" by Edvard Munch


"Victor Hugo" by Rodin


Liza of Lambeth by William Somerset Maugham

From the Four Winds by John Galsworthy

Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling

Inferno by Strindberg

The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

Candida by Shaw

The Spoils of Poynton by Henry James

What Maisie Knew by Henry James

Dracula by Bram Stoker


Industrial Democracy by Sidney and Beatrice Webb

"Studies in the Psychology of Sex" by Havelock Ellis

Handbook of Climatology by Julius Hann


"Jeanne d' Arc" by Charles Peguy

"Recessional" by Rudyard Kipling (on the occasion of Queen Victoria's Jubilee)

"The Year of the Soul" by Stefan George

Popular Songs:

"Stars and Striped Forever" by John Philip Sousa

"Take Back Your Gold" by Monroe H. Rosenfeld, lyrics by Louis Pritzkow

"On the Banks of the Wabash Far Away" by Paul Dresser

"Asleep in the Deep" by Henry Petrie, with lyrics by Arthur Lamb


"Fervaal" by Vincent d'Indy opened in Brussels on March 12


"The Good Mr. Best" opened at the Garrick Theatre on August 3

"The Belle of New York" opened at the Casino Theater on September 18

"Cyrano de Bergerac" by Edmond Rostand on December 28 at the Theatre de la Porte-Saint-Martin in Paris

"The Devil's Disciple" by George Bernard Shaw on October 4 at New York's Fifth Avenue Theater



Daily Life

Sir Henry Tate donated the Tate Gallery to the British people.

New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel opened. The 1,000-room hotel had 765 private baths and was the largest, most luxurious hotel in the world.
The Library of Congress was completed at Washington, D.C. The Renaissance-style structure was built to house the books that had piled up in a room at the Capitol since 1851.

The first American comic strip, "Katzenjammer Kids" was begun by Rudolph Dirks. It appeared for the first time on December 12.

The Jewish Daily Forward began publication in New York.

William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal hired Sunday World editor Arthur Brisbane, who used sensationalist "yellow journalism" techniques to build Journal circulation from 40,000 to 325,000 in 6 weeks.
Ladies' Home Journal publisher Cyrus H. K. Curtis paid $1,000 to acquire the 76-year-old Saturday Evening Post.
"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus," wrote New York Sun editor Francis Church in a September 21 editorial reply to reader Virginia O'Hanlon, age 8, who wrote to inquire if Santa Claus really exists.
Gustav Mahler became the conductor of the Vienna Opera.

A severe famine struck India.

The World Exhibition was held in Brussels.

The Royal Automobile Club of London was founded.

Steeplechase Park opened at Coney Island, N.Y., under the management of George Cornelius Tilyou, who has invented many of the rides and fun houses himself.
Vienna's 131-year-old Prater Park installed a 210-foot high Ferris wheel. Riders got a panoramic view of the Danube and the city from the wheel's spacious cabins.

New Zealand-American Robert Prometheus knocked out world heavyweight boxing champion James Corbett for the title.

The first Boston Marathon was run April 19. 

Reginald Frank Doherty won in men's singles at Wimbledon, Mrs. Hillyard in women's singles, Robert Wrenn in U.S. men's singles and Juliette Atkinson in U.S. women's singles.
The United All-England Croquet Association was founded.

John Peter "Honus" Wagner joined the National League's Louisville team to begin a notable career in baseball.

The first Cheyenne rodeo was held in July, beginning an annual Wyoming tradition.

New York's University Settlement moved into a $200,000 "castle" at the corner of Eldridge and Rivington streets. It would serve as a model for municipal baths.

The drought that began in the Western Plains of the United States in 1886 finally came to an end.

News of last year's Klondike gold discoveries reached the United States in January and started a new gold rush.

Dow Chemical Co. was founded by Herbert H. Dow at Midland, Michigan.
Lifebuoy soap was introduced by Sunlight soap producer W. H. Lever, whose strong soap was promoted as a safeguard against body odor.
London's Moss Bros. of Covent Garden went into the dresswear hire business to accommodate a customer who has gone broke as a stockbroker and obtained a professional engagement as a monologuist. Started by Moses Moss in 1860 and managed by his eldest son Alfred, the secondhand clothing shop would serve generations of Englishmen, including the nobility, who would hire from Moss Bros. not only morning dress and evening wear but also coronation robes, court dress, ball gowns, wedding dresses, ski clothes, and theatrical costumes.
Campbell Preserve Co. chemist John T. Dorrance developed double-strength "condensed" soup that would give Campbell's soup dominance in the industry.
Grape Nuts was introduced as a health food by C. W. Post,  who included a copy of his pamphlet "The Road to Wellsville" in each box of cold cereal.
Purina breakfast cereal was introduced by the 3-year-old St. Louis livestock food company Robinson-Danforth which named its product Purina to signify purity.
Jell-O was introduced by LeRoy, New York cough medicine manufacturer Pearl B. Wait, whose wife Mary gave the product its name. Wait's gelatin dessert was made from a recipe adapted from one developed by Peter Cooper in 1845. The powder was 88 percent sugar.
Welch's Grape juice production moved to Westfield, New York.
Britons began to eat lunch, dooming the classic British breakfast.

October 15--Mail Pouch tobacco was introduced under the name West Virginia Mail Pouch by Wheeling,  West Virginia stogie makers Aaron and Samuel Bloch. Farmers will be paid for more than half a century to let Bloch Brothers use their barns as advertising billboards for the Mail Pouch brand chewing tobacco made from flavored stogie wrapper clippings.
Autocar Co. had its beginnings in the Pittsburgh Motor Vehicle Co. started at Ardmore, Pennsylvania by Louis S. Clarke, who introduced a three-wheeled vehicle powered by a one-cylinder air-cooled engine.


U.S. inventor Tolbert Lanston introduced the Monotype typesetting machine, which was more practical for book publishers than the Merganthaler Linotype.

The New York Tribune printed halftones on a power press and on newsprint for the first time, employing techniques developed by Frederick E. Ives and Stephen Horgan.
The introduction of double seams and improved crimping of body and ends made tin cans more reliable.

Ronald Ross discovered the malaria bacillus.

William Thomson (Lord Kelvin) studied cathode rays.

J.J Thomson discovered electrons.

French chemist-physicist Georges Claude showed that acetylene can be transported safely if dissolved in acetone, thus giving impetus to use of acetylene gas torches for cutting metal.
The first U.S. commercial high-carbon ferrochrome for plating steel was produced by acetylene promoter James T. Morehead with help from French-American metallurgist Guillaume de Chalmot.
The New Lowe Coke Oven invented by Thaddeus S. C. Lowe improved manufacture of high-grade coke for steelmaking.
Boston's Boylston Street subway line between the Public Gardens and Park Street began service September 1-the first U.S. subway line.
Trolley service began across New York's 14-year-old Brooklyn Bridge.
A projected Cape Town-to-Cairo Railroad reached Bulawayo in Southern Rhodesia November 4.
U.S. auto production rose to 100, up from 25 last year.
Scots-American bicycle maker Alexander Winton built the first large U.S. automobiles, organized Winton Motor Carriage, and drove one of his cars 800 miles over dirt roads to New York.

The S.S. Turbinia attained a speed of 34.5 knots, the first vessel to be propelled by a steam turbine.
The Argonaut designed by U.S. naval architect Simon Lake, was the first submarine to operate successfully in open waters


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